Controlling pests is a costly affair, but this cost pales in comparison to the cost of not identifying and dealing with an infestation on time. Pests multiply quickly and if left to their own devices will grow in population making the infestation more costly in terms of control and damage to your property.
Pests will nibble, break, scratch and contaminate almost all the things they can reach. You’ll, therefore, need to identify these pests early and stamp them out before they cause serious damage. But this is easier said than done. You might be sitting right in the middle of an ongoing infestation and not have a clue about it.
Pests are very sly creatures that live in the shadows and only venture out at night when it’s dark and quiet. This makes it hard to notice them until they have completely overrun your home. There are, however, several small obscure signs that you can look out for to identify these infestations early before they take root. But before we look at the signs, let’s first take a look at the places where you should pay close attention to.
Where to check for pest infestation sign
Although the whole house should be checked regularly, there are three main high-risk areas that should be checked more often for pest signs.
- The kitchen. When it comes to pests, there is trouble where there is food. This combined with a slew of entry points – thanks to the numerous pipes and vents connected to the kitchen – provides pests with a great place to set up camp. But even when infestations start elsewhere in the house, one of the first places they will spread to is the kitchen. This makes it a great place for early pest detection.
- Less accessed areas. Places in the house that are less accessed make for great hiding places for pests. Having links to the outside such as ground level windows or pipes makes them more prone to pests. So make sure you check your utility rooms, pantry, attic, and basement. Also, make sure to check behind and under large appliances such as fridges and washing machines.
- The garage. Most pest infestations can be traced back to the garage. This is because the garage is easy to access. Fortunately, the risk of contamination and spread of disease is minimal in the garage as it’s quite removed from normal home traffic areas. Finding signs of pests here should not alarm you but inform you of the risk of infestation so that you can take appropriate action.
Pest signs to look out for
Now that we know where to look, we can proceed to what it is that you need to keep an eye out for. Some of the signs associated with common New Zealand pests include:
- The pest itself. This may seem obvious, but it’s the obvious things that are often forgotten, so it’s worth a mention. Seeing a bug or animal creeping inside your house is a tell-tale sign of a greater pest problems. Remember that this creature’s stay in hiding most of the time so there could be a large number in hiding. We recommend taking a photo of the pest so that you can use the image as a reference when doing the research for identification.
- Dead bugs. If pests live in your house for a couple of weeks, several are bound to die of natural causes. Check in the high-risk areas for dead pests so as to identify infestations well in advance.
- Pest droppings. This is one of the textbook signs of a pest infestation. Although it sounds gross, you’ll have to do some research on the different types of pest droppings for proper identification of the pest – that is if you find droppings inside your home. Make sure to also check for cockroach egg cases in the house.
- Nests. Pests such as rats and mice create nests using materials they find nearby. Sometimes you might even find younglings inside. Use a flashlight to check inside small spaces e.g. behind appliances placed near the wall.
- Odd sounds. While pests are usually quiet, they tend to make noise from time to time. Listen at night when everything is quiet and when pests are at their most active to catch some of the noise they make. Put your ear on the wall to hear movement between cavities which is a common hiding place for pests. Noise coming from the high-risk areas is all you need to confirm the presence of pests.
- Smell. When checking for pests in the house, make sure to pay attention to the smell in the room. If you catch a whiff of an offensive or musky odour, be sure to investigate the source. Following the smell will lead you to the pest’s hiding place.
- Damaged property. All pests will do some level of damage to your property. For smaller pests such as insects, the damage will probably be unnoticeable. Larger pests such as mice and rats will, however, do noticeable damage to your property. Check for gnaw or bite marks (for mammals other than rodents) on plastics, insulation, wires and clothes. Damage marks on furniture and other house items could point to a possible pest problem.
- Holes. Holes in walls and floors or even around your home could indicate a possible infestation. Be on the lookout for these as rats and mice make holes on walls to get access to the wall cavity where they live.
- Tracks and grease marks. Rodents usually use the same path every day, so they are bound to leave tracks along the way. Also, check along walls for grease marks as rats love running along walls.
- Dried spots of blood. Bed bugs excrete a dark liquid that when dry resembles dried blood. These spots are found where bed bugs usually hide such as the mattress seams, box springs and bedding. These sign will be accompanied by a sweet offensive smell – another major sign of a bedbug infestation.
Once you have identified any of these signs, move with haste to identify the pest and then take the necessary measures to ensure the infestation is arrested before it causes more damage. At Pestrol, we provide professional pest control solutions so that you can eradicate pests safely and effectively.